Identità Chicago 2017

Great Ideas in the World: Pasta and Pizza is the theme of the 4° edition scheduled at Eataly Chicago from October 7th-8th

First, in fall 2010, it was Identità New York. Then in fall 2014, came Chicago. And now, increasing its American footprint, Identità Boston debuts in October, with future plans of expanding to California in 2018. From coast to coast, Identità seeks to educate and inspire Americans on international cuisine, just like it has done in Europe starting with Milan in 2004. 

Chicago will kick things off this year, followed by New York and then Boston. Chicago is a really comprehensive? city in all aspects, including at the table. And in some ways even contradictory. On one side, it hosts some ofthe most innovative and imaginative? chefs in the whole world, on the other it holds true to traditional values, and at times sticks to “coloring within the lines.” In Chicago, there are many styles of cooking, especially when it comes to Italian fare, specifically pizza. Or better Chicago-style pizza so rich in ingredients to be definitely different from our pizzas.

We Italians have to come to terms with that: when on the shore of Lake Michigan they say they have invented pizza, they aren’t so wrong. Just as we adopted ingredients and dishes coming from very far corners of the globe, coffee, tomato, and rice to cite but three, enhancing them with our taste, style, and palate, so it happened for pizza. Naples and its people invented it and many around the world interpreted it with their heart and experiences. To each their own.

Passion for pasta is in the wake of it. There’s a lot of Italy over there, so why not place pasta and pizza at the heart of Identità Chicago 2017? That will be the focus, with eight participants: four Italians and four Americans, four chefs and four pizza-makers, two of each nationality for each specialty. The Milanese Davide Oldani will participate once again, this timewith Luciano Monosilio from Rome who was already onstage in Manhattan. The Sicilian brothers Saverio and Vittorio Borgia who run two restaurants bearing the same name in two different cities, Milan and Palermo, will maketheir debut. Corrado Scaglione who moved from Campania to Brianza and filled it with tastiness will participate under pizza umbrella, too. All this to prove that even in Italy, pasta and pizza do not haveone single identity. The American chefs will be Sarah Grueneberg and the American pizza-makers will be Fernando Darin and Sarah Minnick.

New York will have a completely different theme and structure. We start with the theme of the last edition, always topical due to the new American policies, that is looking for the best by comparison, new thinking, and solidarity. However we will develop it by enriching it. Massimo Bottura and Eric Ripert, Enrico Cerea (who is also Ambassador of East Lombardy - European Region of Gastronomy) and Virgilio Martinez , Ana Roš and Caterina Ceraudo will focus on “Don’t Wastehe Planet: Truth in the Dish” because all the work of thinking and research at the root finds its final reason, its real value at the moment of the service. There will be classes, two chefs at a time, and a progressive dinner: the Dine Around in the Eataly Flatiron store that was a highlight of last year’s edition. The chefs waited for the guests in each small Eataly Flatiron restaurant and the diners passed from one post to another celebrating extraordinary tasty halts - from starters to desserts with passion and joy.

This is not all. We at Identità Golose will underline once again the great importance of Massimo Bottura’s work for those who are less fortunate, promoting a dinner of incredible and unrepeatable quality in favor of Food for Soul at Eataly Downtown. The chef from Modena will supervise a team of starchefs - Mario Batali, Eric Ripert and Carlo Mirarchi - and the whole evening will be designed to promote the activity of the Refectory Bottura will open in winter in New York, after those in Milan, Rio, and London in a steady commitment for less fortunate people who shall never be abandoned.

Once the eighth edition concludes in New York, Boston, considered one of the most European American cities, willhost its inaugural event. A dinner will be the first step to put Italian quality in a smiling comparison with great personalities at home in New England and stress once again the sense of hospitality and the pleasure of the companionship among chefs and personalities having the same passion for well done things. Caterina Ceraudo will arrive from the Old Continent and Chris Fisher, Michael Schlow and Michele Carter from Boston, all united by the respect for Italian products and know-how.

Paolo Marchi
Ideatore e curatore di Identità Golose